Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) executive committee member and national team coordinator Bob Hippy on Friday urged players to ignore invitations from the newly-formed National Team Body (BTN) for the country's upcoming Asian Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia on March 23.
The BTN was announced by Indonesia’s Minister for Youth and Sports Roy Suryo earlier this week in an attempt to merge the PSSI with the renegade Committee to Save Indonesia Football (KPSI) in a move to merge both the PSSI and the renegade Indonesia Committee to Save Indonesia Football (KPSI) and end the long-standing feud that has resulted in dueling leagues and national teams.
The PSSI had previously announced a 33-men squad for its March 10 training camp led by head coach Nil Maizar, but the BTN announced its own intention to call up players a day later to a squad led by former Beijing Under-20 coach Luis Manuel Blanco.
While Hippy acknowledged that the BTN, initiated by sporting minister Roy Suryo, had been in the works, he denied that the PSSI had given its blessing to the arrangement despite an announcement from chief Djohar Arifin Husein.
"The formation of BTN did not get the go-ahead from the executive committee, thus BTN does not exist," Hippy told reporters. "The calling-up of players for national team duty can only be done by PSSI.
"We do not recognize BTN and we urge the players to ignore their invitation."
Players appeared to be confused by the call-ups as well, with Persija Jakatara striker Bambang Pamungkas particularly critical.
"The national team call-up came in an unusual way; not from the people who used to handle it," Bambang tweeted. "What kind of joke is this?"
The continuing confusion over the country's footballing governance is not likely to sit well with Fifa, who in December granted a three-month extension to the PSSI and KPSI to settle their differences. Should the situation remain unresolved by March 30, Indonesia could face sanctions including suspension from international play.